DUI Teen Kills Trucker in Fiery Crash After Driving Backwards in Stolen Car, Police Say
Philadelphia, PA – A teenage motorist has been charged with multiple crimes after Pennsylvania investigators say he caused a fiery crash with a tractor-trailer claiming the trucker’s life early Wednesday morning.
The deadly incident occurred at approximately 2:30 a.m. on the Schuylkill Expressway along Interstate 76.
Zamir Abdul-Johnson-Selby, 19, of Philadelphia, was operating a 2018 Toyota Yaris eastbound when investigators say he mistakenly drove past his intended exit (Girard Avenue).
Abdul-Johnson-Selby then put the vehicle in reverse, but lost control and slammed into an oncoming big rig driven by a 54-year-old man from Jacksonville, FL.
The tractor-trailer crashed into a protective wall and burst into flames, according to a Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) spokesman.
The big rig’s load of produce, along with the charred wreckage, fell off of the overpass and onto Sweet Briar Drive below.
Closer look at the multi-vehicle crash on I-76 eastbound near Girard Avenue. You can see the burned tractor trailer on I-76 above and its load of produce on Sweetbriar Drive below. State police are on scene investigating. They tell us there are serious injuries. @CBSPhilly pic.twitter.com/agGmeuHG8m
— Jan Carabeo (@JanCarabeoCBS3) May 6, 2020
The impact of the collision spun the Toyota 360 degrees before it came to rest in the left lane, police said.
Responding firefighters battled the blaze for nearly two hours before finally extinguishing the flames.
Investigators indicated the trucker’s body was found on the overpass next to the burned and mangled cab, while Abdul-Johnson-Selby and two female passengers fled the scene.
Each were later found at an area hospital being treated with only minor injuries, PennDOT said.
A subsequent investigation determined the Toyota was stolen.
Abdul-Johnson-Selby was later taken into custody and charged with homicide by vehicle, leaving the scene of an accident involving death, recklessly endangering another person, driving under the influence and other related offenses.
The identity of the trucker has not yet been released.
The crash left traffic backed up for miles and delayed travelers by more than an hour and a half, until it finally began moving again at about 10 a.m., according to PennDOT.
The overpass also sustained minor damages, but was inspected and cleared for use.
Photo courtesy of ABC 6